Quinoa Cabbage Casserole

Hi! I hope everyone has access to organic and local produce. Like grass-fed beef or chicken. I love animals and a big part of me wants to be a vegan. My family wants to eat meat so let them eat meat.
For something a little different try this Quinoa Cabbage Casserole. My toughest critics ate it with no complaints. Feel free to leave out the mushrooms or sweet potatoes for your toughest critics. Also replace the Herb De Provence with a little thyme, oregano, marjoram, tarragon and rosemary. Top with sour cream too.
Easy to cook in a casserole dish or a crockpot. Go ahead make it your own!
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Quinoa Cabbage Casserole

1 cup Broth (use less if cooking in crockpot)
1 cup Quinoa
1 Sweet Potato shredded
1 cup Cabbage chopped

Ground Meat
1 Onion chopped small
1/2 cup Mushrooms chopped small
1 Celery chopped small
2 Cloves of Garlic minced
1 1/2 cups Cabbage chopped
1 Can diced Tomatoes
Pinch Allspice
Pinch Paprika
1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper
In layers place, quinoa, broth, sweet potato and cabbage. Fry meat until almost done and remove some liquid from the meat. Add onion, mushrooms, celery, garlic and fry a few minutes.
Mix spices in the can of tomatoes.Layer on the meat then tomatoes then cabbage.
Preheat oven to 400. Cover casserole with foil and cook for about 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes.
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To cook in crockpot, the time will depend on your crock pot, maybe 4 hours or more on low.

Easy and Cheap Zucchini and Beans

Hey I hope everyone had a nice summer! Mine was very busy with work, kids, gardening, camping and pokemon go adventures. I also moved half my perennial garden and started strawberries and grapes. I figured I would rather have plants that feed me. We do two small trips every summer to different provincial parks. We love the adventure of discovering new places. We rode our bikes around and hit the beach. This year we discovered Ivanhoe and Chutes provincial parks in Ontario.
 This summer I cooked and baked mainly my go-to recipes, such as my cool chocolate chip cookies or Go to Guacamole and tried to eat all my garden vegetables. I did develop this zucchini and beans dish. I was at my lake house with only my youngest for two days and I came down with a cold. I felt terrible so I made this healthy dish with lots of garlic. I made it the following week for the rest of the family and it was liked by all. Even better that it only cost $3. What? Yeah, my zucchini are free so just green onions, organic garlic, and canned pinto beans were purchased.
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Serves four or five
3 Zucchini’s or 2 medium ones
3 Green onions
2 or 3 Garlic
Can of pinto beans
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cooked quinoa or rice optional
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Cut up zucchini, green onions and garlic. Strain and rinse the beans. Heat pan and add coconut oil or other oil or butter. Fry zucchini until almost translucent then add Green onion, garlic, beans, salt and pepper. Fry for a few minutes until desired tenderness. Serve alone or on a bed of quinoa or rice.
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I did go see some live music this summer. Kate Maki and Fred Squire are an awesome singing couple. I’ve been a big fan of Kate for a long time and highly recommend purchasing her albums on iTunes. Also Brock Zeman and JoPo. To end my summer I saw an awesome punk show, SNFU, at my favorite bar. I felt 21 again.

Dear to my Hemp Heart

Hemp hearts are like one of the Healthiest food on the planet! A complete protein, it has omega 6-3, iron, thiamine, magnesium, zinc and lots of other healthy stuff. Basically, if you look at the nutrition facts on a bag of hemp hearts and fortified milk or bread they are similar so what would you rather eat? Real food or fortified foods? I really notice the difference in my hunger levels when I eat Hemp hearts. The same way an avocado does for me.
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I sneak Hemp hearts into my family’s breakfast nearly every morning. I’ve always been a morning person and liked to plan my breakfast before bed. I love waking up before anyone else and having quiet time. I make apple oatmeal 5 days a week, I love it so much but not as much as peach oatmeal. I try not to cook the hemp hearts because the fat breaks down easy so its better to add hemp hearts after the oatmeal is ready. Raw is best!
oatmeal
Favorite foods that I add hemp hearts to:
Yogurt – Add to plain yogurt with fruit
Oatmeal – Add after oatmeal is cooked
Smoothie – My usual is half of a banana or avocado, strawberries, mango, hemp hearts, coconut milk, water and maybe kale.
Pesto
Energy balls
Salads and salad dressing – Blend oil, acid, dijon mustard, herbs, salt and pepper
Popsicles – I ask the kids what fruit flavor they want (lately it’s been orange) and blend it with lemon, honey, coconut milk or water and hemp hearts and freeze.
Raw cookie dough – roll balls in it but seriously you must try these! No measure raw cookie dough
Soup – Add after soup is cooked. Super good with Butternut squash soup
Chocolate bark
Hummus
Oven Beets – Oven Beets img_20161207_153836

cookie doughdough rolled in hearts

The list goes on and on. When you need a protein boast look no further because Hemp is what you need.
People ask me a lot how I eat hemp hearts and I thought this post might inspire your love for hemp hearts too.
Three tablespoons a day keeps the doctor away.

BBQ Stuffed Avocados

Avocado on the BBQ is a treat. I have to admit I’m afraid I will blow my self up when using the BBQ but it’s worth a try. I was following my cravings and got to thinking about a deconstructed guacamole, all the ingredients of guacamole but stuffed in half of an avocado and cooked on the BBQ. Ingredients straight from the garden, maybe. The filling is also good on burgers or as a dip because not everyone likes avocado. I do like having a vegetarian option and this is a good one. The cheese melts and holds everything together. The options are endless. I hope you follow your cravings and have a great BBQ.

lets eat
this one
Vegetarian Filling: 
Tomato diced
Basil leaves diced or try another herb, for example, cilantro or parsley
Green onions diced
Mushrooms diced
Garlic minced
jalapeño minced, optional
Salt and Pepper
Tempe or tofu optional
bocconcini cheese, cut in small 1/4″ cubes or replace with vegan cheese
Sausage filling:
Tomato diced
Basil leaves diced or another herb, for example, cilantro or parsley
Green onions diced
Mushroom diced
Garlic minced
jalapeño minced, optional
Salt and Pepper
Sausage meat, (italian style)
Bocconcini cut into 1/4″ cubes
Tuna Filling:
Tuna canned
Tomato diced
Basil or Dill diced or another herb, for example, cilantro or parsley
Green onions diced
Lemon or lime juice (not to much)
Salt and Pepper
Prepare ingredients and gently mix together all into a bowl.  Cut the avocados in half and scoop out the large seed. After removing the seed, scoop a bit of the avocado flesh if there is not enough room to add your filing in the centre of the avocado.
Other Options:
Try adding olives, capers or bacon.
Cooking:
Place on BBQ medium heat and cook until done about 30 minutes. The cooking times will vary according to the size of your avocado, the amount of stuffing and the BBQ temperature.

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Oven Baking:
Place on a cookie sheet and cook in an oven at 375.

 

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 Life is so busy but I hope you can make time for cooking! Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom!  Peace and love!

Dandelion Greens Pesto

Pesto is very simple and there is no need to measure. Pesto can be made so many ways, pretty much any nuts or seeds will work. I buy organic pine nuts from Costco and I leave them in my freezer, up to 6 months. I use half basil leaves and I grow my own. For the other half, I use any greens I have in the fridge, such as spinach or kale. This time I used something out of my front yard. Why not? Dandelions are usually easy to find except this year. On the weekend I found lots at camp. The babier the better! The baby leaves are less bitter and spring is the perfect time for harvest. I kept mine in a plastic container, or wrap the leaves in paper towel and refrigerate.

 perfect
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Dandelion Pesto
Handful of Pine nuts or Hemp seeds
3 Handfuls of Fresh Basil
3 Dandelion, Kale, Spinach or any leafy green
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 small Lemon juiced
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, optional
Nutritional yeast, optional for dairy free
 Blend all ingredients together. Refrigerate for a week or freeze up to 3 months.
Pesto goes great with:
cauliflower
eggs
spaghetti squash
potatoes
chicken
pasta
pizza

Just want to clear any confusion. Handful of pine nuts is 1/2 cup and 3 handfuls of basil and greens is 1 cup. Enjoy! My kids don’t love pesto but they eat it. I love it so I’m happy! Have fun foraging!

Family Time Fajitas

Delight your friends and family with these mouth watering fajitas. The fajitas sauce has amazing flavor that goes into the cashew cream, the vegetables and the chicken. I use a jalapeños in the sauce and the kids never complain because it’s not that spicy but if you want spicy then use 2 jalapenos. I had some pinto beans in the cupboard so I made refried beans. That post will come later. I like that this is a way to please meat eaters, vegetarian and vegans. Everybody’s happy! Prepare sauce and slice vegetables the night before for a quick awesome meal.
Serves 4-5
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Fajitas Sauce
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, diced small
1 or 2 limes squeezed (about 3 Tbsp)
3 Tbsp of grapeseed oil or other oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
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Cashew cream
1/2 cup cashews raw (soaked for two hours or more)
2-3 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp fajita sauce, above recipe
(I haven’t tried replacing the cashew cream with sour cream or greek yogurt but I’m sure it work with the fajitas sauce)

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Filling
3 Peppers, sliced
2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Onion, sliced

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Chicken
4-6 chicken breasts, sliced
2 Tbsp fajitas sauce
Tortillas
Avocado sliced, optional
Shredded cheese, I used cheddar
Refried beans, optional
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Soak the cashews in water for a least 2 hours; cashews can also soak overnight. Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
Marinade the chicken with 2 Tbsp of sauce and set aside.
With my magic bullet I blend the soaked cashews with water and sauce. Add more water, lime juice, salt or sauce to the cashew cream to get the consistency and flavor. The consistency should be like sour cream.
Fry sliced vegetables using the rest of the sauce in a fry pan.
In a separate pan, fry the marinated chicken.
Warm tortillas. Fill each one with ingredients, top with cheese, and fold tortilla. Serve hot.
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Have a Happy and Healthy weekend!

Baked Eggs and Bacon

Perfect for brunch! I love this recipe because it is a great way to have vegetables for breakfast because of the bacon and the cheese it makes all vegetables taste really good. My kids never complain about it. It’s how I got them to like asparagus. I’ve made this with what ever vegetables I have in the fridge my favourites are asparagus, peppers, zucchini, broccoli (specially the stem), onion, celery. The main idea is using up the bacon grease. Don’t forget to add some grease to your dogs food. I like to split a pack of bacon in 3 or 4 portions and freeze it so you can make this recipe a few times with one package.
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Baked Eggs and Bacon
1/3 package of bacon
9 eggs (more or less depending on how many people)
Water, milk or cream
Asparagus, bottoms cut in half inch pieces
Coloured Pepper, cut into pieces
Celery, diced
Green onions, diced
Fresh basil, optional
Salt and pepper
Cheese, shredded
Herbs or spices of your choice, optional
Preheat oven to 400
Place bacon in a casserole dish and bake until the fat cooks out about 12 minutes turning over half way through. Prepare eggs in a large measuring cup or bowl and whisk. Add a little water or milk and fresh basil if using, salt and pepper. Take out the bacon and cut up into pieces, leave the fat. Swirl the fat around in the dish. Add celery, peppers and bottoms of asparagus. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle on the green onions, then the tops of the asparagus and the bacon pieces. Turn oven down to 380. Bake for 15 minutes and take out and add cheese. Bake for 10-15 more minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy.
Sorry to the vegans but the kids love it.
Have a nice long weekend! Enjoy the special moments!
My next post is a sewing pattern.

Healthier Icing

It’s no joke It’s possible to make Icing healthier. Sure it’s not something you should eat every day but you should definitely indulge sometimes. Adding ground pecans to the icing gives it a caramel feeling and also adding coconut gives lots of flavor and lowers the sugar. Go ahead and flavor it anyway you want, even try dates. My family loves it on my Vanilla maple cake.Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion
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Regular version:
Equal amount of

Coconut oil

Butter

Maple syrup

Icing sugar or ground coconut sugar
Stir ingredients, mix in
Coconut milk, a little at a time.
Then add,
3 drops of stevia
1 tsp vanilla for flavoring.
Blend all the ingredients while adding the coconut milk a little at a time. After add the stevia and vanilla. Add more sugar if desired.
Pecans Icing: As a topping maple pecans Maple seeds and nuts
Grind either raw or roasted pecans with maple syrup in a blender. Add to the icing mix
Coconut Icing:
Adding ground coconut to the mix

Coming up with a name for this icing wasn’t easy. Maybe I should have went with Judd’s idea and called it Frosty Frosting. Anyway I hope you enjoy and have a great March break. Fun is what you make of it!

Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion

Vanilla Maple Cake is perfect for any occasion. I prefer to make my own cake so I can reduce the sugar and I know that it is made with quality ingredients. I make a healthier Icing to top it off,Healthier Icing then add maple pecans. My recipe Maple seeds and nuts. For a great Easter cake top with peeps or easter eggs. This cake is so moist and delicious and awesome to share with others. I hope you try it!

Vanilla Maple Cake for any occasion
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour Almond meal flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour or substitute tapioca flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs or flax eggs (2 Tbsp of ground flax seeds and 6 Tbsp of water and let sit for 5 minutes)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
4 drops stevia
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 grapeseed oil
1 cup coconut milk
Preheat oven to 360.
In a large bowl mix all dry ingredients and make a well.
Add liquids and mix until combined.
Grease pan with coconut oil or coconut oil spray.
Bake cupcakes or cake for 22-25 minutes.
Makes 12 cupcakes, double the recipe to feed a crowd because everyone will want one to go.

Roasted vegetables for breakfast lunch or dinner

Oven roasted potatoes was the second dish I learned how to cook. My dad taught me and if he can make this anyone can. I like to roast many vegetables and it’s the same process. It’s a delicious way to experiment with your favorite vegetables and spices. Roasted vegetables and potatoes sides while with every meal. Why not start your busy weekend morning with a great nourishing breakfast to give your day a boost.
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If you are going for hash browns then use regular potatoes eg: white or Yukon gold potatoes
My favourite vegetables to roast are:
Potatoes
Onions
Peppers
Cauliflower
Zucchini
Carrots
Asparagus
Squash
1 or 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil or oil of your choice
Spices option 1:
Chili powder
Paprika
Garlic powder
Salt
Spices option 2:
Cumin
Coriander
Turmeric
Salt
Option 3:
Balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 420
In a bowl combine oil and spices. Cut vegetables to bit size and mix with oil and spices till evenly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the vegetables evenly.
Potatoes take about 20-30 minutes and most other vegetables take about 15- 20 minutes
My dad always used seasoning salt, simple and delicious.
Thanks Dad for this life lesson.